Featured photo by Patty Jones.
It’s partly cloudy and supposed to stay that way most of today. 38F, wind at 0-3mph, AQI33, UV3. 20% chance of rain today and 90% tonight. They’re talking showers starting not long after suppertime. We’re looking at damp through Saturday and then again starting on Thursday.
I know I’m getting better because I can tell how miserable I am….. I stitched for most of the afternoon and then Tempus and I had a long consult about what all has to get moved. I think we’re going to need some help on Tuesday, shifting things, because it’s going to be a Chinese puzzle.
Pretty much we’re going to switch the sofa stuff for the playpen stuff and move a bunch of other “stuff” with that. We need to also shift the “display” items to where the clothing is at the current time and get that onto the rolling rack that is currently collapsed.
So we got going on shifting more of the feast equipment. The temptation to put things in storage is strong, but we do need them during the rest of the year. Tempus also got some more done on the corner where we have the toys.
Today we’re hoping to open on time. Tempus has a meeting in Newport with the owner of another paper route. We’ll see how that goes, but hopefully he’ll be back in time. He’s going to start shifting some of the smaller stuff and in the evening when I won’t cough on someone I’ll be taking down the clothes stuff, temporarily. It’s going to be bundled out of sight for a week or so.
We have a mini-moon…. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/earths-new-minimoon-leaving-soon-180974334/
Today’s plant, Lungwort (Pulmonaria ) is one of the first perennials to bloom, with bright flowers and spotted leaves. Zones 4-8 More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lungwort …and there are lots of pix in Wikimedia Commons here: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Pulmonaria – Feminine, Air, the Sylphs – It is a plant of helpful magick for breathing problems from COPD to asthma to TB to lung cancer….
…and I’m going to say it again. The info in these “Today’s Plant” things is to help with the magickal aspect of the herbs! Anything medicinal, go talk to an herbalist!
The feast day of St. Perin, patron saint of Cornwall and tin miners, has come to be called Perrantide, a national day in Cornwall. It’s a created holiday from the 19th century, trying to develop some national pride, but it grew out of the tinworkers’ holiday that involved a lot of alcohol and food. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Piran%27s_Day There are some fun stories about St. Perrin. One is that some folks tried to kill him by tying a millstone around his neck and pitching him into the ocean. He floated to Cornwall on the stone. The connection to the tinminers, tinsmelters & tinsmiths also is another tale that is related to the white on black cross of his symbol. Supposedly his hearthstone got very hot and tin rose to the surface in the form of a cross! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Piran
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Love & Light,
Today’s Astro & Calendar
Waxing Moon Magick – The waxing moon is for constructive magick, such as love, wealth, success, courage, friendship, luck or healthy, protection, divination. Any working that needs extra power, such as help finding a new job or healings for serious conditions, can be done now. Also, love, knowledge, legal undertakings, money and dreams. Phase ends at the Tide Change on 3/9 at 10:48am. Waxing Gibbous Moon – From seven to fourteen days after the new moon. For spells that need concentrated work over a ¼ moon cycle this is the best time for constructive workings. Aim to do the last working on the day of the Full moon, before the turn. Keywords for the Gibbous phase are: analyze, prepare, trust. It is the time in a cycle to process the results of the actions taken during the First Quarter. During this phase you are gathering information. Give up making judgments; it will only lead to worry. Your knowledge is incomplete. Laugh. Analyze and filter. LOOK WITHIN. God/dess aspect: Maiden/Youth, but in the uncommitted phase, the Warriors – Associated God/desses: Dion, Dionysius, Venus, Thor. Phase ends at the Full on 3/7 at 10:48pm.
Now the gibbous Moon shines near Pollux and Castor, high overhead after dark. Lower right of the Moon is Procyon, the Little Dog Star, and farther on in roughly the same direction you’ll come to Sirius, the big Dog Star.
One of the sky’s most familiar constellations rules March evenings from dusk until around midnight local time. Orion the Hunter appears at its highest in the south as darkness falls but grows more prominent once twilight fades away. If you’ve watched Orion over the years, you might notice that it doesn’t look quite the same now. Ruddy Betelgeuse, which marks one of the Hunter’s shoulders, is a mere shadow of its normal self. Fortunately, the red supergiant star has started to rebound from its historic low of magnitude 1.6 during February’s second week. It already has brightened by 0.1 to 0.2 magnitude, and astronomers expect it to continue this trend until it reaches its normal brightness of around magnitude 0.6
Mars (magnitude +1.1, above the handle of the Sagittarius Teapot) glows in the southeast before and during early dawn. Find it upper right of bright Jupiter. Mars is slowly creeping toward Jupiter, by about half a degree per day. Telescopically Mars is still a tiny 5.5 arcseconds in diameter, a shimmering little orange blob. But it’s on its way to a fine opposition in October, when it grow to 22.6 arcseconds wide.
Old Farmer’s Almanac March Sky Map!
Goddess Month of of Moura, runs from 2/20-3/19
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn)
Runic half-month of Teiwaz/Tyr, 2/27-3/13 This is a time of positive regulation, sacrifice and hard work in order to progress.
©2020 M. Bartlett, Some parts separately copyright
Celtic Tree Month of Nuin/Nion/Ash, Feb 18 – Mar 17, Nion (NEE-uhn), ash – the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior L.) is a major tree of lowland forests in much of Europe, along with oaks and beeches. It grows to 40 m (130 feet) in open sites, with a broad crown reminiscent of American elm trees. Ash was and still is an important timber tree, and is a traditional material for the handle of a besom. The common ash is occasionally cultivated in North America, and similar native ash species are widely grown as street trees. Ashes are members of the Olive family (Oleaceae).
Ogam letter correspondences to study this month Oir – Spindle Ogam letter correspondences
Letter: TH, OI
Meaning: Finish obligations and tasks or your life cannot move forward.
Day High Tide Height Sunrise Moon Time % Moon
~ /Low Time Feet Sunset Visible
Th 5 Low 2:13 AM 3.8 6:45 AM Set 4:19 AM 69
~ 5 High 8:09 AM 7.5 6:10 PM Rise 1:24 PM
~ 5 Low 3:33 PM 0.2
~ 5 High 10:14 PM 6.1
Affirmation/Thought for the Day – Make this a Good day!
~ Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune. – Jim Rohn
~ I’m not running a seminar for dullards on the other side. – Paul Keating
~ Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have and where you are. – Unknown
~ There is a moment in every dawn when light floats, there is the possibility of magic. Creation holds its breath. – Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Spanning the winter’s cold gulf with an arch,
Over it, rampant, rides in the March. – Constance Fenimore Woolson (1840–94)
OSTARA By Anna Franklin
The Pagan festival of Ostara is celebrated at the vernal equinox [around March 21st] and marks the real arrival of spring. At the equinox the light and dark are in balance- day and night are of equal length, but the light is now gaining after the dark days of winter, towards the long days and short nights of summer, with their greater warmth. It is a time of returning vegetation, the flowering of the gorse, daffodils, primrose and coltsfoot; sun-coloured spring flowers. Animals and birds are nest building and mating, preparing to bring forth new life.
The name of the festival is derived from the Germanic goddess Ostara [also variously given as Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre and Austra]. A word derived from her name is oestrus meaning heat in animals. The Venerable Bede stated that the heathen Anglo-Saxons called the third and fourth months “Rhedmonath” and “Esturmonath” after their goddesses Rheda and Eostra respectively. Nothing is known of either goddess, though Ostara is thought to be a goddess of spring. According to the folklorist Jacob Grimm April, in Anglo Saxon, Old High German and some modern German dialects, is called “Ostara’s month”. He pointed out that all cultures living in temperate climates celebrate the coming of spring with major rituals and festivals. It would appear that one of these festivals was dedicated to the goddess Ostara.
Though she is not mentioned in either the Prose Edda or the Poetic Edda the name Ostara occurs in many place names in Denmark and Germany. However, it simply means ‘east’, the direction of the rising sun, with connotations of dawn and morning light. The Eddas do refer to a male dwarf named Austri, whose name also means “east.” In Icelandic lore he was one of the four dwarfs who hold up the sky, which is formed from the skull of the giant Ymir.
The name of Eostra’s festival, Easter in English or Ostern in German, was transferred to the celebration of Christ’s resurrection when Anglo-Saxon and German heathens converted to Christianity. In other European languages the holiday’s name is based on the Hebrew word pasah meaning ‘to pass over’ from the Jewish Passover: in Latin Pascha, in Italian Pasqua and in French Pâques, Danish and Norwegian Påske.
The Romans dedicated the month of March to the god Mars, who gave his name to it. Though he is ostensibly a god of war, he originally had fertility and agricultural attributes. Another possible reason the month was dedicated to the god of war was the rough weather, since March ‘comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb’, after which the campaigning season could begin again.
At this time, the sun enters the constellation of Aries the Ram, the first sign of the zodiac, and the journey of the solar hero through the zodiac begins anew:
The vernal signs the Ram begins:
Then comes the Bull; in May the Twins:
The crab in June; next Leo shines;
And Virgo ends the Northern signs.
Jason [‘Healer’] and his Argonaut crew journeyed to recover a sacred ‘golden’ ram’s fleece, guarded by the monstrous Hydra. This is probably a straightforward solar myth about how the sun is rescued from the Underworld dragon as the resurrected golden ram [Aries Chrysomallon] at the spring equinox. In another myth Hermes carries a ram as he leads the Three Graces out of an Underworld cave in the spring.
The identification of the Ram with resurrection and resurrected deities is seen elsewhere. In Egypt, at the inundation of the Nile, the Pharaoh travelled from Memphis to the temple of Amun at Karnak to renew his right to rule as the divine son of the god on earth. Amun was the ram-headed sun god who was daily reborn from the Sky Mother. The horned god Cernunnos is depicted as holding a ram-headed serpent. The serpent is the waning year and the Underworld powers, while the ram is the waxing year and the horns connect to the solar/sky powers. The vernal equinox was also the festival of the Phrygian Goddess Cybele, marking the death and resurrection of her son/lover Attis, a vegetation god.
Another resurrection god symbolised by a sheep is, of course, Christ ‘the lamb without blemish’, the suitable sacrifice. As sacrificial lamb Christ was crucified for the sins of the world. The lamb with the cross betokens the crucifixion, while the lamb with the flag [seen on many pub signs] represents the resurrection. There is a superstition that the sun dances as it rises on Easter morning, and a lamb with a flag appears on it.
In Rome the spring equinox was the shepherd’s festival, and a month later came the festival of the goddess Pales, patroness of shepherds. All the sheepfolds were hung with leaves and branches. The altars of the goddess were fumigated and all the sheep were purified at twilight. Millet and milk were offered to Pales, and her protection was invoked for the flocks.
Another solar hero who overcomes the dragon of winter [like Jason] and renews the spring is St. George, once a pagan deity, then a Christian saint [albeit now demoted]. His true origins may be discerned in his name and the spring date of his feast day, 23rd April. The Greek form Georgius means a ploughman, a cultivator of land. In many places, notably Eastern Europe, St George’s day marks the beginning of the ploughing and planting season- the renewal of agriculture. There is an Estonian proverb: ‘since St. George’s Day the Pleiades go up in the morning sky and the ox will go on the furrow’. The Russians say ‘when George comes, the plough will go to the field’, while the Finns say ‘George will take the plough to the field’. It is George who brings the spring according to the Russians who say ‘there is no spring without George’. The Estonians mark his feast day with bonfires and torchlight processions.
George is the bringer of vegetation and new life, and on his day it is forbidden to cut down trees, hurt or kill an animal. To the Estonians, he is ‘the keeper of the keys of summer’ and with his key, he makes the grass grow. Germans, as well as Southern Slavs bring green plants near their living quarters on that day in order to mark the coming of spring. Indeed, in Eastern Europe it was thought that the ground was poisonous before St. George’s Day, before he brought about a return of vegetation and the earth was able to breathe. Walking barefoot or sitting on the ground would cause many diseases, swellings and cracked skin. In the South-Germanic part of the Alps, the absence of greenery before St. George’s Day is considered a good omen. The Germans also believed that before St. George’s Day water might be unsafe, but afterwards [at least until St. Lawrence’s Day, 10th August] there was no poison or danger.
We have already seen that Easter was originally a Pagan festival, but it is a moveable feast which may fall anytime between the vernal equinox and St George’s Day, but never earlier or later. It is observed on the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Other Pagan themes run throughout the Easter celebrations- the Easter egg, since in the spring hens begin to lay again, the visiting of holy wells and springs [water drawn early Easter morning is supposed to have curative properties] and the Easter bunny, which is actually the sacred hare, the symbol of fertility. Eggs were hun on branches outside the house or on egg trees or maypoles.
The egg is another obvious fertility symbol, betokening burgeoning life. In several mythologies, a ‘World Egg’ is laid by the Goddess and split open by the sun God. In Hindu tradition, the divine bird laid the cosmic egg on the primordial waters and from it sprang Brahma and the two halves formed heaven and earth. The cosmic tree is sometimes depicted as growing out of an egg floating on the waters of chaos. In Egyptian legend the Nile Goose laid the cosmic egg from which Ra, the sun, sprang. In China the yolk was the sky and the white the earth. The egg is also an emblem of resurrection and the initiate or ‘twice born’, since its laying is one birth, its hatching another.
The egg is closely associated with the serpent, another important springtime emblem. One Egyptian legend says that Kneph, the serpent, produced the egg from his mouth. Orphism, holding the egg to be the mystery of life, creation and resurrection, often depicted the egg surrounded by Ouroboros, the circular serpent with its tail in its mouth. The Druids called the cosmic egg the ‘egg of the serpent’.
The symbolism of the snake is complex. It can be male and phallic or female, representing the power of water- sinuous streams, rivers and healing wells. On one hand it represents the underworld and the powers of night and winter that the sun god must overcome [Bel is sometimes shown with a serpent or dragon, as are Apollo, Pythios and Helios]. On the other hand it symbolises regeneration and the sloughing off of winter; the snake sheds its old skin and emerges renewed and ‘reborn’.
There are various customs associated with the snake in spring, some imitating the dragon/serpent of winter slaying deities like St George and St Michael. According to English lore killing an adder in early spring brings good luck for the year, while to let it go means bad luck. In Eastern Europe a snake killed before St. George’s Day was thought to have magical powers, possibly derived from the winter blighted, poisoned earth. It could be dried or powdered to cure a variety of ills, such as toothache, boils, stroke, rheumatism, rickets and barrenness, gain luck at cards or in court, protect from witchcraft and the devil, and even prevent pests damaging crops.
The underlying vernal equinox theme of the snake is very ancient, but persevered in folk customs and the popularity, at Easter, of bistort [Polygonum bistorta], also known as Snake Root, Easter Giant, Snakeweed, Dragon Wort, Easter Ledges and English Serpent Tree. The common name of bistort is derived from the Latin ‘bis‘ meaning ‘twice’ and ‘torta‘ meaning ‘twisted’. This refers to the serpentine shape of the roots and accounts for many of its local names. Bistort was, and still is, traditionally eaten at Easter. In the north of Britain, an annual contest is held to find the best Easter-ledge pudding.
Representing the Goddess at this time is the Easter Bunny, actually the sacred hare and we all know its reputation for fertility, sexual appetite and increase. The mad behaviour of hares boxing in March is said to resemble a coven of witches dancing. Ostara is sometimes depicted as a hare-headed goddess, but the creature is also associated with male deities, messengers and light bringers such as Thoth, Mercury and Hermes, as well as slain and risen gods such as Osiris and Christ. For the Celts, the hare was a sacred animal and there was a strict taboo on killing it. In Celtic countries, well into Victorian times, people would not eat the hare. The taboo was lifted at the equinox or Beltane and the hare was eaten to partake of its magical fertility. The Easter hare pie scramble still takes place in Hallaton in Leicestershire.
Silliness – Rules for Life
Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are;
– You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn’t move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn’t move and does, use the Duct Tape.
– Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
– Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.
– If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You get another chance.
– And finally, be really nice to your family and friends; you never know when you might need them to empty your bedpan.